Captain Hugh and the Reluctant Navigator
The Voyage of Vega

Medieval Mayhem and Bagpipes

Wednesday July 29th. We have been here in A Coruna since last Thursday, rather longer than initially intended, but it’s a spacious and comfortable marina, A Coruna is an attractive, friendly city with lots to do and see, and we’ve had a few things to sort out with the boat.

When we arrived there was a medieval fayre taking place in the old city, the stallholders dressed in medieval garb, processions of men in tight mustard hose carrying brightly coloured flags, musicians, drummers and trumpets, and lots of  bagpipes. Bagpipes seem to be played everywhere we go here and there has been a definite Celtic link to our travels so far, from Cornwall to Brittany and now Galicia, presumably due to maritime connections over the centuries.

We caught the train to Santiago de Compostela, the end of the 490 mile medieval route of pilgrimage, the Camina de Santiago.  The apostle St James is reputed to be buried here and his remains lie in  the Cathedral, huge, dark and sombre, but enlivened by a gold statue of St James in the nave. The architecture of the cathedral is apparently Spanish Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque and it was built in the 12th century. The old town is a maze of narrow streets so we spent a few hours wandering around and some time sitting in the sun with a beer and tapas.  On the day we arrived there was a demonstration going on which we were careful not to get caught up in. The last time we did so was in Sofia where we joined a jolly looking procession which turned out to be an extreme right-wing protest. This one however appeared to be all inclusive: anti-government, anti-pension cuts, anti-austerity, anti-emigrants not paying tax. Galician flags abounded, white with a light blue diagonal.

The regional architecture includes glassed-in balconies known as galerias, some wonderful examples of these are on the city marina in A Coruna. Another of the local must-see tourist sites is the Tower of Hercules, an ancient Roman lighthouse at the entrance to A Coruna harbour. It fell into ruin, doubtless in medieval times, and was restored in the 18th century. Being good tourists we climbed to the top and took each other’s photos. There was a busker playing the bagpipes, badly, on the path up to the Tower.

We are off now to the Rias with favourable winds to take us South.






  1. Peter Baylis

    July 29, 2015 - 8:10 am

    Glad to hear you are having a break in La Coruna. Have you tried the posh Yacht Club there? .

    • annie

      July 29, 2015 - 5:32 pm

      I was keen to Pete but Hugh had forgotten his jacket and tie 😉 xx

  2. Sheri

    July 29, 2015 - 12:50 pm

    Again, may all be plain sailing for Captain & Reluctant Navigator!
    Medieval reminders of Siena, but they have no bagpipes, just flags & drums. I never tire of it!

    • annie

      July 29, 2015 - 5:36 pm

      It was great Sheri. The Rias are a number of river estuaries, inlets and bays on the northwest coast. We’ve made it to one now and are berthed in a small marina at Camarinas with pretty wooded hills around. We hope to get the dinghy out tomorrow and motor up the river xx

  3. isla

    July 29, 2015 - 6:06 pm

    to grandpa and granny Annie i miss you all but i enjoyed looking at your blog and piches.I

    • annie

      July 29, 2015 - 8:20 pm

      We are glad that you are enjoying our blog and we miss you lots too. See you in October. Lots of love Grandpa and granny Annie xxx

  4. Mike

    July 31, 2015 - 9:47 am

    Hi Sailors
    I wonder wether any of the guys in the photo are still about in Cedeira.
    Coruna sounds slightly more sophisticated than 55 yrs ago.

    • annie

      July 31, 2015 - 3:14 pm

      When we showed your photo around town we soon realised it was not a good idea. These guys are gangsters and your visit in the 1960s has gone down in local mythology. Was it ok to have given them your current address Mike? We weren’t too sure afterwards.

  5. Olly

    August 4, 2015 - 12:36 pm

    Hello Dad and Annie,

    Glad to hear the boat is still afloat and in once piece! Hopefully the wildlife will become more abundant further south, that’s if the fishermen have left anything for you to see. Although I would like to see a Sunfish.

    Are you using the binoculars we saved during the clear out? If so I’m glad they’re finally getting some good use!

    Dad, I think you need to update the map…

    Hope you’re both well.

    Love Ol.

    P.s. Very jealous of the Paella. The pic reminded me of the one we had in Mallorca last summer.

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